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Traditional Jewish family law has persevered for hundreds of years and rules covering marriage, the raising of children, and divorce are well established; yet pressures from modern society are causing long held views to be re-examined. The Jewish Family: Between Family Law and Contract Law examines the tenets of Jewish family law in the light of new attitudes concerning the role of women, assisted reproduction technologies, and prenuptial agreements. Through interdisciplinary research combining the legal aspects of family law and contract law, it explores how the Jewish family can cope with both old and modern obstacles and challenges. Focusing on the nexus of Jewish family law and contract law to propose how 'freedom of contract' can be part of how family law can be interpreted, The Jewish Family will appeal to practitioners, activists, academic researchers, and laymen readers who are interested in the fields of law, theology, and social science.
"This book features a CD of rarely performed music, including a specially commissioned rap by Erik Weiner of Walter Benjamin's "Thesis on the Philosophy of History." "
Theodor W. Adorno was the prototypical German Jewish non-Jew, Walter Benjamin vacillated between German Jew and Jewish German, Gershom Scholem was a committed Zionist, and Arnold Sch?nberg converted to Protestantism for professional reasons but later returned to Judaism. Carl Djerassi, himself a refugee from Hitler's Austria, dramatizes a dialogue between these four men in which they discuss fraternity, religious identity, and legacy as well as reveal aspects of their lives-notably their relations with their wives-that many have ignored, underemphasized, or misrepresented.
The desire for canonization and the process by which it is obtained are the underlying themes of this dialogue, with emphasis on Paul Klee's "Angelus Novus "(1920), a canonized work that resonated deeply with Benjamin, Adorno, and Scholem (and for which Djerassi and Gabrielle Seethaler present a revisionist and richly illustrated interpretation). Basing his dialogue on extensive archival research and interviews, Djerassi concludes with a daring speculation on the putative contents of Benjamin's famous briefcase, which disappeared upon his suicide.
The first complete and annotated English translation of Maimon's influential and delightfully entertaining memoir Solomon Maimon's autobiography has delighted readers for more than two hundred years, from Goethe, Schiller, and George Eliot to Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. The American poet and critic Adam Kirsch has named it one of the most crucial Jewish books of modern times. Here is the first complete and annotated English edition of this enduring and lively work. Born into a down-on-its-luck provincial Jewish family in 1753, Maimon quickly distinguished himself as a prodigy in learning. Even as a young child, he chafed at the constraints of his Talmudic education and rabbinical training. He recounts how he sought stimulation in the Hasidic community and among students of the Kabbalah-and offers rare and often wickedly funny accounts of both. After a series of picaresque misadventures, Maimon reached Berlin, where he became part of the city's famed Jewish Enlightenment and achieved the philosophical education he so desperately wanted, winning acclaim for being the "sharpest" of Kant's critics, as Kant himself described him. This new edition restores text cut from the abridged 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray, which has long been the only available English edition. Paul Reitter's translation is brilliantly sensitive to the subtleties of Maimon's prose while providing a fluid rendering that contemporary readers will enjoy, and is accompanied by an introduction and notes by Yitzhak Melamed and Abraham Socher that give invaluable insights into Maimon and his extraordinary life. The book also features an afterword by Gideon Freudenthal that provides an authoritative overview of Maimon's contribution to modern philosophy.
In This Hour offers the first English translations of selected German writings by Abraham Joshua Heschel from his tumultuous years in Nazi-ruled Germany and months in London exile, before he found refuge in the United States. Moreover, several of the works have never been published in any language. Composed during a time of intense crisis for European Jewry, these writings both argue for and exemplify a powerful vision of spiritually rich Jewish learning and its redemptive role in the past and the future of the Jewish people. The collection opens with the text of a speech in which Heschel laid out with passion his vision for Jewish education. Then it goes on to present his teachings: a set of essays about the rabbis of the Mishnaic period, whose struggles paralleled those of his own time; the biography of the medieval Jewish scholar and leader Don Yitzhak Abravanel; reflections on the power and meaning of repentance, written for the High Holidays in 1936; and a short story on Jewish exile, written for Hanukkah 1937. The collection closes with a set of four recently discovered meditations-on suffering, prayer, spirituality, and God-in which Heschel grapples with the horrors unfolding around him. Taken together, these essays and story fill a significant void in Heschel's bibliography: his Nazi Germany and London exile years. These translations convey the spare elegance of Heschel's prose, and the introduction and detailed notes make the volume accessible to readers of all knowledge levels. As Heschel teaches history, his voice is more than that of a historian: the old becomes new, and the struggles of one era shed light on another. Even as Heschel quotes ancient sources, his words address the issues of his own time and speak urgently to ours.
This superb collection of writings comes as a tribute to one of the
leading scholars of Judaic Studies in our century, Alexander
Altmann, and to the Institute of Jewish Studies, which he founded.
His former students and colleagues present essays which touch upon
the many areas of Professor Altmann's interests. The studies range
from early rabbinic mystical texts to contemporary theological
investigations. The majority of the articles explore leading
figures and issues in medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy
Jewish law is a singular legal system that has been evolving for generations. Often conflated with Biblical law or Israeli law, Jewish law needs to be studied in its own right. An Introduction to Jewish Law expounds the general structure of Jewish law and presents the cardinal principles of this religious legal system. An introduction to modern Jewish law as it applies to the daily life of Jews around the world, this volume presents Jewish law in a way that answers all the questions that a student of comparative law would ask when encountering an unfamiliar legal system. Sources of Jewish law such as revelation, rabbinical and communal legislation, judicial decisions, and legal reasoning are defined and analyzed, and the authority of who decides what Jewish law is and why their decisions are binding is investigated.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Rabbi Kushner has sensible and unorthodox and mind-opening things to say about God, and about ourselves.
An essential introduction to Josephus's momentous war narrative The Jewish War is Josephus's superbly evocative account of the Jewish revolt against Rome, which was crushed in 70 CE with the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Martin Goodman describes the life of this book, from its composition in Greek for a Roman readership to the myriad ways it touched the lives of Jews and Christians over the span of two millennia. The scion of a priestly Jewish family, Josephus became a rebel general at the start of the war. Captured by the enemy general Vespasian, Josephus predicted correctly that Vespasian would be the future emperor of Rome and thus witnessed the final stages of the siege of Jerusalem from the safety of the Roman camp and wrote his history of these cataclysmic events from a comfortable exile in Rome. His history enjoyed enormous popularity among Christians, who saw it as a testimony to the world that gave rise to their faith and a record of the suffering of the Jews due to their rejection of Christ. Jews were hardly aware of the book until the Renaissance. In the nineteenth century, Josephus's history became an important source for recovering Jewish history, yet Jewish enthusiasm for his stories of heroism-such as the doomed defense of Masada-has been tempered by suspicion of a writer who betrayed his own people. Goodman provides a concise biography of one of the greatest war narratives ever written, explaining why Josephus's book continues to hold such fascination today.
The Kabbalistic idea of creation, as expressed through light, space and geometry, has left its unmistakable mark on our civilization. Drawing upon a wide array of historical materials and images of contemporary art, sculpture and architecture, architect Alexander Gorlin explores the influence, whether actually acknowledged or not, of the Kabbalah on modern design. Comprising ten chapters that each outline key concepts of the Kabbalah and its representations, both in historic diagrams and the modern built environment, Kabbalah in Art and Architecture puts forth an unparalleled and compelling reinterpretation of art and architecture through the lens of the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. A chapter on the Golem, and an epilogue that discusses German artist Anselm Kiefer's powerful interpretations of the Kabbalah, complete this unique book.
The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.
A magisterial history, ranging from antiquity to the present, that reveals anti-Judaism to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. There is a widespread tendency to regard anti-Judaism - whether expressed in a casual remark or implemented through pogrom or extermination campaign - as somehow exceptional: an unfortunate indicator of personal prejudice or the shocking outcome of an extremist ideology married to power. But, as David Nirenberg argues in this ground-breaking study, to confine anit-Judaism to the margins of our culture is to be dangerously complacent. Anti-Judaism is not an irrational closet in the vast edifice of Western thought, but rather one of the basic tools with which that edifice was constructed.
This seventh volume of The Cambridge History of Judaism provides an authoritative and detailed overview of early modern Jewish history, from 1500 to 1815. The essays, written by an international team of scholars, situate the Jewish experience in relation to the multiple political, intellectual and cultural currents of the period. They also explore and problematize the 'modernization' of world Jewry over this period from a global perspective, covering Jews in the Islamic world and in the Americas, as well as in Europe, with many chapters straddling the conventional lines of division between Sephardic, Ashkenazic, and Mizrahi history. The most up-to-date, comprehensive, and authoritative work in this field currently available, this volume will serve as an essential reference tool and ideal point of entry for advanced students and scholars of early modern Jewish history.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the charismatic leader of the Chabad Hasidic movement and its designated Messiah. Yet when he died in 1994, the messianic fervor he inspired did not subside. Through traditional means and digital technologies, a group of radical Hasidim, the Meshichistim, still keep the Rebbe palpably close-engaging in ongoing dialogue, participating in specific rituals, and developing an ever-expanding visual culture of portraits and videos. With Us More Than Ever focuses on this group to explore how religious practice can sustain the belief that a messianic figure is both present and accessible. Yoram Bilu documents a unique religious experience that is distinctly modern. The rallying point of the Meshichistim-that the Rebbe is "with us more than ever"-is sustained through an elaborate system that creates the sense of his constant and pervasive presence in the lives of his followers. The virtual Rebbe that emerges is multiple, visible, accessible, and highly decentralized, the epicenter of a truly messianic movement in the twenty-first century. Combining ethnographic fieldwork and cognitive science with nuanced analysis, Bilu documents the birth and development of a new religious faith, describing the emergence of new spiritual horizons, a process common to various religious movements old and new.
Does it mean nothing at all that we are spiritual beings? What does one of the world's oldest religions have to say? After the astonishing success of his latest book, Kosher Sex, Shmuley Boteach now tackles these important issues in another freshly argued, provocative book that will stir debate. Convinced that Judaism possesses a core of wisdom that appeals to everyone, Shmuley Boteach ferociously argues against Jews seeking piety in abstractions, in rationalising injustice, in explaining the holocaust away as a punishment for assimilation. He pleads for recognition that Judaism is not about death or suffering, but is about seeking optimism and spirituality, as is life. In a modern world riddled with angst, this book will have an astonishing impact on how our relation to society should be understood. First published in 1999 by Duckworth Overlook under the title An intelligent person's guide to Judaism.
Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts. Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to: Ars Judaica Department of Jewish Art Bar-Ilan University Ramat-Gan 52900 Telephone: 03 5318413 Fax: 03 6359241 Email: [[email protected]]
Under the brutal conditions of the Dachau-Kaufering concentration camp, a handful of young Jews resolved to resist their Nazi oppressors. Their weapons were their words. Beginning with the Soviet occuption of Kovno, the members of Irgun Brith Zion circulated an underground journal, ""Nitzotz"" (""Spark""), in which they debated Zionist politics and laid plans for postwar settlment in Palestine. When the Kovno ghetto was destroyed, several contributors to ""Nitzotz"" were deported to the camps of Dachau. Against all odds, they did not lay down their pens. ""Nitzotz"" is the only known Hebrew-language publication to have appeared consistently throughout the Nazi occupation anywhere in Europe. Its authors believed that their intellectual defiance would insulate them against the dehumanizing cruelty of the concentration camp and equip them to lead the postwar effort for the physical and spiritual regeneration of European Jewry. Laura Weinrib presents this remarkable document to English readers for the first time. Along with a translation of the five remaining Dachau-Kaufering issues, the book includes an extensive critical introduction. ""Nitzotz"" is a testament to the resilience of those struggling for survival.
1 and 2 Kings unfolds an epic narrative that concludes the long story of Israel's experience with institutional monarchy, a sequence of events that begins with the accession of Solomon and the establishment of the Jerusalem temple, moves through the partition into north and south, and leads inexorably toward the nation's destruction and the passage to exile in Babylon. Keith Bodner's The Theology of the Book of Kings provides a reading of the narrative attentive to its literary sophistication and theological subtleties, as the cast of characters - from the royal courts to the rural fields - are variously challenged to resist the tempting pathway of political and spiritual accommodations and instead maintain allegiance to their covenant with God. In dialogue with a range of contemporary interpreters, this study is a preliminary exploration of some theological questions that arise from the Kings narrative, while inviting contemporary communities of faith into deeper engagement with this enduring account of divine reliability amidst human scheming and rapaciousness.
For thirty years the director of the Wiener Library in London--the
leading institute for the study of anti-Semitism--Walter Laqueur
here offers both a comprehensive history of anti-Semitism as well
as an illuminating look at the newest wave of this
In the "Zohar," the jewel in the crown of Jewish mystical
literature, the verse "A river flows from Eden to water the garden"
(Genesis 2:10) symbolizes the river of divine plenty that
unceasingly flows from the depths of divinity into the garden of
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible created by Jews seeking a place of legitimacy for diaspora Jewishness and faith among the traditions of Hellenistic culture, was a monumental religious and culturalachievement. ThisGreek Old Testament, in its original form and revised versions, providedthe scripturalbasis for Judaism in the Greek-speaking diaspora, enabledthe emergence and spread of Christianity, and influenced translations of the Bible into African and European languages.Over time, however, theSeptuagint's relevancefaded for Jews,and the Hebrew text eventually reasserted its dominance within Judaism.This led many to neglect the Septuagint as an authentic witness to the biblical tradition. But the Septuagint remained important, inspiring biblical writings and further translations into Latin, Coptic, and Armenian. In combination with the Qumran biblical texts, it provides yet further indication of the multivocal state of the Hebrew Bible around the turn of the eras and proves to be a text of continuous interest for biblical scholarship and cultural-historical studies. Siegfried Kreuzer's Introduction to the Septuagint presents, in English,the most extensive introductionofthe Septuagintto date.It offerscomprehensive overviews of the individual biblical writings, including the history of research, current findings and problems, and perspectives for future research. Additionally, this survey presents a history of the Septuagint in its Greco-Hellenistic background, theories of its genesis, the history of its revisions,its lore in antiquity,andan overview of the most important manuscripts and witnesses of the convoluted transmission history of the text. The text includes extensive bibliographies that show the ongoing interest in Septuagint studies and provide a reliable basis for future studies. A collaboration representing multiple nationalities, professional perspectives, and denominational traditions, this dependable guide invites newcomers and experts alike to venture into the rich world of one of the most influential works of literature in history.
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